Author Topic: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?  (Read 4964 times)

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emmeileia

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Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« on: August 01, 2007, 05:00:19 PM »
I was just reading the updates on the main site, and in the 'Faux Pas of the Year' section there was a bit about the general tackiness and greedyness of planning your own birthday party.

It kind of struck a nerve, because among my group of friends, this is pretty common. Before someone's birthday, everyone will phone them to ask what they are planning. Generally the person just picks a restaurant to meet at. No presents are expected, as we are all poor university students/ recent grads. We plan parties this way because that way the birthday boy/girl gets the kind of atmosphere they want. They want a wild dancing and drinking party? They pick a club. If they want something more laid back, they pick one of the restaunts or pubs we frequent.

I guess my question is does this make us tacky?

Also, I forget which page it was on, but the 'Feed the Gimme Pig' picture is the cutest thing ever!

kingsrings

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 05:19:34 PM »
It doesn't sound like you guys are actually planning your own birthday party if others call and ask what you are interested in doing for your birthday. That sounds like more of everybody planning the birthday party. That is not what EHell is talking about, I think. She is talking about people who solely plan their own birthday party.

Trisha

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 05:24:50 PM »
I don't think throwing a party for your birthday is tacky. Now, if you make a big deal that its your birthday and you want presents.... yes. I threw my own graduation party. I told everyone I didn't want gifts, I just wanted to hang out, eat, and drink with my family and friends. I cooked all kinds of food, bought all kinds of drinks, some people brought gifts anyway, and I made sure I sent thank you cards, but IMO its ok to have your own party as long as you're not doing it as a fundraiser.

BittyB

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 05:27:03 PM »
That doesn't count as throwing your own birthday party. 

1. the birthday haver isn't calling others up and planning the party - the friends are asking birthday haver where they would like to go.

2. there isn't a host and there are not presents.


Calbrini

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 05:48:17 PM »
How is it on little kids invitations it says 'please come to MY party'?

jimithing

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 05:49:11 PM »
I was just reading the updates on the main site, and in the 'Faux Pas of the Year' section there was a bit about the general tackiness and greedyness of planning your own birthday party.

It kind of struck a nerve, because among my group of friends, this is pretty common. Before someone's birthday, everyone will phone them to ask what they are planning. Generally the person just picks a restaurant to meet at. No presents are expected, as we are all poor university students/ recent grads. We plan parties this way because that way the birthday boy/girl gets the kind of atmosphere they want. They want a wild dancing and drinking party? They pick a club. If they want something more laid back, they pick one of the restaunts or pubs we frequent.

I guess my question is does this make us tacky?

Also, I forget which page it was on, but the 'Feed the Gimme Pig' picture is the cutest thing ever!

There's actually a discussion about this story being held right now on the "Etiquette Hell Classics" board with some highly varying answers. 

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=11319.0

I agree with the previous posters that what you are talking about doesn't sound like throwing your own party.  It's a group discussion and agreement.  I have an issue with people telling everyone that it's their birthday, throwing their own party, and expecting people to bring gifts.  Even if you don't ask people to bring gifts, it's still the norm and implicit in the invitation.

blarg314

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 11:59:19 PM »

Personally I find it less tacky to invite a few friends over for cake and coffee on your birthday than to ask someone else to arrange a birthday party for you at their expense.

I'm in a very mobile field, so I tend to move every few years. As a result, I tend to spend birthdays several thousand kilometers from the nearest person who is going to actually note and remember the date.  Trust me, spending your birthday alone in your apartment eating take-out is pretty depressing, and if I don't say anything myself, that is guaranteed to happen.

The standard among my friends is to say outright "It's my birthday next Tuesday" and to go out for drinks or a modest dinner. Generally, a few friends will go together and get you a book or a DVD or something like that, and a card.

Paying varies. In North America, it was pretty standard that everyone else would cover the cost of the birthday dinner. It averaged out over the year so that everyone got treated for their birthday. At the moment, I'm in an aggressively multi-cultural institute in Asia, and it usually comes to a fight between the birthday person, who wants to pay for everyone, and the rest who want to cover his/her meal. Usually we compromise on one way for dinner and the other for drinks.

 

twinkletoes

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 09:18:28 AM »
"Personally I find it less tacky to invite a few friends over for cake and coffee on your birthday than to ask someone else to arrange a birthday party for you at their expense."

I think that's a good point.  I also agree with your point about calling a few people up for a modest get-together - I'd much rather have that than sit alone!

If someone wants to treat their friends to a really great dinner for their birthday, that's cool.  I think what makes it tacky is to say "Oh, and GIMME GIFTS!"

emmeileia

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 11:53:53 AM »
I think what makes it tacky is to say "Oh, and GIMME GIFTS!"

Lol...getting all of my eclectic and very social friends together in one place at one time is like herding cats, so when it happens that is a big enough gift for me! Thankfully I have never known anyone like that. *knocks on wood*

Scritzy

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007, 12:43:25 PM »
Chip gave me a party for my 50th birthday. Tim was co-host; he ran all the equipment for videos and music.

However, Chip said that I was responsible for: sending out the invitations, keeping track of the RSVPs (he set up an e-mail account for that purpose), finding the venue, choosing the menu, selecting the music, getting the cake, candles, table covers and decorations, plastic ware, balloons, chips, nuts, mints, Cokes, etc. etc. etc. because he didn't know how to do all that.

So I essentially planned my own party. Chip just paid for it. (He paid Tim, too.)

I guess I can roast a few marshmallows in Ehell. ;)
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Jenzilla

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Re: Planning your own birthday party...opinions?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2007, 03:43:44 PM »
If I'm guessing correctly which story you're referring to, the person had invited everyone to an expensive restaurant with the intention that everyone else would buy them dinner for their birthday. That's very different from the stories on this thread.

For my 40th birthday last year, we (DH and I) invited several friends to a nice restaurant and WE paid for everyone. Sort of like the hobbit custom of giving gifts on your birthday instead of receiving them.

A couple I know not only throw their own birthday parties, sometimes they do them like potlucks. But then they also do the lion's share of entertaining for that particular group of friends, and have done some elaborate and expensive parties as well, so I can't believe anyone could begrudge their birthday parties. They probably spend more on entertaining than anyone else I know.